Back to the Future Part III : Advertising in 2019

Welcome back to the third part of our look back at 2019’s advertising trends.

We’re still in the year 2020 and in this final part we are taking a look at how brands and advertisers had to cope with the rise and growth of streaming services, shoppable video, voice technology and brand bypass.

Coming to a big screen near you

In 2018 we saw Amazon Prime Video and Netflix experiment with ads. In 2019 they took this a step further and launched free memberships supported by programmatic advertising.

For brands and creatives used to working within the constraints of tiny mobile screens, this was an incredible opportunity to reach people in a different emotional context on a much bigger canvas.

And it’s not just the format, but the audience opportunity too. Younger and early-adopting consumers were the first to desert linear TV and as a result became highly desirable for savvy marketers.

In 2019, major programmers leveraged exclusive content, not available through streaming services, and battles were fought for sports sponsorship and major tentpoles. We saw the rise of niche and very specific content channels and many new OTT entrants, specifically in the data and measurement area, as new protocols and standards continued to be agreed by industry constituents.

Shopping went straight to video

People love videos and they love shopping. Watching to find out more *and* buy right from the ad, is a match made in heaven.

In 2018 US studies showed that 80% of millennials refer to video when making purchase decisions, indicating the power that shoppable video could have.

In 2019, for agencies and brands, shoppable video evolved KPIs and it took a while for these to settle down – but it seems clear that direct purchase from shoppable videos is the new CTR.

Audiences also got to experience a wider range of interactive ads, and advertisers had to rapidly get up to speed with what’s useful and what works.

The discovery channels

In 2019, how people find what they’re looking for changed.

The well-understood acquisition route of search marketing declined as retailers inserted themselves rudely into the process – and voice services changed the journey entirely.


Established brands faced unprecedented competitive threats from fresh-faced d2c brands and e-commerce giants alike. Increasingly-trusted recommendation engines, powered by AI, hijacked consumer decision moments and product purchase options become heavily guided.

As Google and Amazon grew in power and influence, ‘brand bypassset in, making it harder than ever for advertisers to grow their market share by engaging light buyers. The future could look bleak. But for advertisers there is hope. And it’s nothing new. They need to go back to brand basics.

The only line of defence against channel disintermediation is to work hard to stay relevant. That means building brand affinity and loyalty through an emotional connection delivered by great product experiences and showcased through powerful communications that move people.

Click here to download our ready made predictions deck to help pimp up your presentations!

Click here to travel back in time and read part 1 of our Advertising in 2019 series.

Click here to travel back in time and read part 2 of our Advertising in 2019 series.